Upton Park

Next Game

West Ham v Newcastle

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

St James' Park, Newcastle

Last Game

Newcastle 1 - 0 QPR

Saturday, 22 November 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Ben Arfa: Fan backing helped

Hatem Ben Arfa is grateful for the support he received from Newcastle United fans during his time stuck on the bench.

Last Updated: 27/12/13 at 09:53 Post Comment

Hatem Ben Arfa: Has had to be patient in his pursuit of a starting berth

Hatem Ben Arfa: Has had to be patient in his pursuit of a starting berth

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Frenchman accepts that the strength in depth which now exists at St James' Park means he will not start every week.

He has no complaints at filling a squad role, with the collective cause of greater importance than individual ambitions.

Ben Arfa has had to be patient in his pursuit of recognition, though, with a 5-1 victory over Stoke City on Boxing Day seeing him drafted back into Alan Pardew's starting XI for the first time in almost two months.

The highly-rated forward grabbed his opportunity with both hands and believes he is a stronger player - mentally and physically - for having spent a spell on the sidelines.

Ben Arfa said in the Shields Gazette: "We're very happy. We won, which is the most important thing.

"And I was very happy to be on the pitch. I hadn't started for two months, and I gave all my energy.

"Every time I came on, I tried to do my best. The crowd supported me when I was on the bench, and that made me stronger.

"I want to say thank you to them. Even when I was on the bench, they supported me. They give you confidence and strength.

"I'm very happy, but the most important thing was that we won."

On the competition for places at Newcastle, he added: "We have a big squad. We have very good players on the bench and on the pitch. That's very important for us.

"Everybody contributes. The spirit is important. When somebody is on the bench, he still motivates us in the dressing room. Everybody is together."

Watch Newcastle v Arsenal and Chelsea v Liverpool live on Sky Sports 1HD from 12.30pm on Sunday, or for just £4.99 with a NOW TV day pass.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

Footer 365

Mignolet 'worse than Dracula'

Bruce Grobbelaar has lambasted Simon Mignolet's reluctance to command his box, saying: "At least Dracula comes out of his coffin now and then."

World Cup: FIFA could face UK criminal probe from Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office is looking into claims of corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Scottish football: Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev's appeal against seven-game ban to be heard on December 4

Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev will find out on December 4 if his appeal against a seven-match ban has been successful.

Mail Box

Mails: Quit Massaging Mourinho's Ego

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox after it was claimed that the Chelsea boss has transformed Cesc Fabregas into a complete player. Plus, more on Arsenal...

F365: Saving You From Bad Relationships

A cracking Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Willian, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Aguero. Plus how Football365 saved one man from an unhappy relationship...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property